A GROUP of Clare aeronautical enthusiasts are attempting to break the world record for the farthest distance travelled at this weekend’s annual Red Bull Flugtag event in Dun Laoghaire.
Designed by Tulla resident, Emelyn Heaps and built by Caherea, Lissycasey-based builders, Marrinan Construction, the Lying Air craft will compete at the Red Bull Flugtag competition on Sunday.
Red Bull Flugtag challenges the brave and brainy to design, build and pilot homemade flying machines off a 30ft high flight deck in hopes of soaring high or more often, plunging into the waters below. Teams are judged on three criteria; flight distance, creativity of the craft and showmanship and it is hoped that Lying Air will meet the criteria to beat the 64m world record.
Emelyn currently holds the Irish record for the furthest distance at this event but he is confident his new design can beat the world record.
“I’m the aeronautical design engineer for this and in 2001 we designed an aircraft that took and presently holds the Irish record for distance of 14.5m. The world record stands at 64m. This plane has been designed with the sole intention of breaking the current world record. Flugtag is a fun day out. You’re going have people throwing everything from bathtubs to bikes with wings into the water. There will be a few serious contenders as with every Flugtag. To me, this is aviation at its best. You are back to the Wright brothers and to 1903. You have no engine and it’s essentially a canon ball run where the best designer and engineer will win on the day,” he said.
Emelyn had an idea for a design that he felt could beat the record and set himself the challenge. Together with nine builders from Clare and with supplies from Market Hardware, it took three days to complete the aircraft.
“I think people in Dublin believe no-one anywhere else in the country can do any better than them so the challenge we have put to them is that the boys from Clare are coming and if you can’t take defeat, don’t bother turning up,” he said.
Speaking about the team, Emelyn said, “It may be one person’s vision but you need people like Brian Marrinan and his crew to bring this to a reality. When I said it to these guys they immediately said, ‘yes let’s go build a plane’. They were brilliant.”